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Jan 28, 2009

AbleLink Technologies Introduces First SmartPhone for Soldiers and Others with Traumatic Brain Injuries


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, January 28, 2009 – AbleLink Technologies, a leading developer of cognitive technologies, today announced the first research-based SmartPhone technology designed specifically to assist people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) with executive functioning. The new system, called Pocket Endeavor, is an integrated scheduler, voice recorder, cell phone and GPS system operating on a touch-activated SmartPhone. Pocket Endeavor was developed following research funded by the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) as well as through direct interaction with hundreds of soldiers with brain injuries using AbleLink's other cognitive support technologies over the past two years.

Access to all the system functions is achieved through the Pocket Endeavor Dashboard, which masks the complexity of the traditional PDA operating system and integrates the entire system by providing straightforward and dedicated access to the other modules. Pocket Endeavor is designed specifically for those who need a simple, straightforward user interface. Pocket Endeavor provides visual, auditory, and text-based reminders, and features that allow the user to independently schedule events in advance or at any time needed. A powerful setup feature defines complex recurring events with ease.
Greatly simplified access is provided to key cell phone features; including placing calls using pictures, recognizing incoming callers, ignoring calls from unknown parties, one-button access to voicemail, and use of a visual address book. In addition, Pocket Endeavor provides the capability to easily record meetings, instructions, or class lectures for playback later as needed on the same SmartPhone device. The system also provides specially designed tools for creating audio reminders, step-by-step instructions and lists, with an unambiguous interface for retrieving and listening to stored recordings.

Test participants for the DARPA research project included active duty soldiers with a diagnosis of TBI. All were referred by rehabilitation professionals at Colorado Springs’ Memorial Hospital, serving soldiers from Fort Carson. The feasibility study indicated significant improvement in executive functioning as measured by self-report data from the participating soldiers. Further research will build upon the pilot project and investigate the impact of the system using additional objective measures.

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